Support the Undy 500: to Scotland and back in a banger

Support the Undy 500 bangers

Not many of us would fancy the idea of driving an old banger from Suffolk up to Scotland and back again. But that’s what an intrepid group of business folks is doing for charity, setting off last weekend and hopefully making it back in one piece! Their journey is happening right now!

Led by Hudson Group managing director Steve Flory, 11 fearless teams have entered the Undy 500.

The only requirement is to purchase a car for £500 or less, drive it up to Scotland and around the North Coast 500 route, and back again.

And most important of all, they have to raise as much cash as possible for the Blossom Appeal, which seeks to build a breast care centre at Ipswich Hospital.

Support the Undy 500 bangers

Motley collection

The motley collection of vehicles includes a 1996 Volvo, a Fiat, Skoda, Peugeot, VW, Saab and a Citroen. One team has a ropey old Audi TT that no one holds out much hope for.

Steve is driving the 1996 Volvo 440, together with his partner, Claire. As well as being old, the Volvo is a veteran of such events, having recently taken part in a world-record driving attempt on a Swedish airfield.

“It’s only got 70,000 miles on the clock,” claimed Steve. “But that’s assuming it hasn’t been around the clock once or twice already.”

He hopes all the cars will make it in one piece. But the teams include a garage mechanic and some motorcycle experts who know their way around an engine, should anything go wrong. Mechanical know-how will likely be required – hopefully somewhere convenient and not halfway up a mountain in Scotland.

“My Volvo had to be pushed out of the garage this week because it wouldn’t start,” pondered Steve. “The radio switch had been left on and ran the battery down. Another of the teams intended to use an old 3-litre Jaguar before working out the trip would cost around £700 in petrol. He’s got a little Skoda now!”

Motley collection

Fuelled with ambition

Petrol is a real issue for the trip, although the recent fuel crisis seems to be abating.

The cars set off on Saturday 9th October from the Hudson Group base at Needham Market near Ipswich, driving all the way up to Edinburgh before overnighting and heading to Inverness for the official start. They will go to Scotland via the motorway network as “breaking down in the middle of nowhere does not appeal”.

“Inverness Football Club is hosting us for the start of the course,” said Steve, “and then it’s off around the North Coast route, taking in the likes of Wick, Tongue and Ullapool, finishing back in Inverness and then back to Perth. On Friday, we all set off for home again.”

Each team has purchased their vehicles out of their own pockets. Once the event is over, the cars will be sold or scrapped in the (frankly highly likely) event that they are beyond all hope. Proceeds will then be sent to the Blossom Appeal.

“It’s a charity we are all very keen to support,” commented Steve, who has organised two previous Undy 500 events. The first went to Mount Olympus in Greece, and the second was a chilly trip to the Arctic via Finland. COVID forced the intrepid motorists to stay in the UK this time around.

The previous trips raised around £15,000 to £20,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich and the Suffolk Air Ambulance.

Anyone wishing to donate and support this trip’s fundraising for the Blossom Appeal can do so at the Undy 500 JustGiving page.

The list of teams taking part include:

  • Hudson Group
  • Woodward Markwell
  • Azpects
  • Castons
  • Subway Ipswich
  • Hearing Care Centre
  • Orwell Motorcycles
  • Terry Gaskin, TMG Car Sales
  • Bernard Clarke
  • Schallenberg
  • DMR recruitment

Fuelled with ambition

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